It was a tiny moment. In some ways like glimpsing a passing reflection of yourself, in a shop window, and seeing yourself as if you were a stranger and realising you look slightly different than your normal self image.
I decided to clear my desk. Not a momentous event, just something that has to be done periodically when my effective working area becomes too reduced by piles of stuff I accumulate. Then everything has to be swept away as I have an overwhelming desire for open space. Yesterday, after I had finished, I looked with satisfaction at a worktop with only a computer screen, keyboard, mouse, notebook and pen. I sat down and felt happy. It was then that the tiny moment of insight and realised how much of my time is spent sitting down. Damn I thought, there is no way round it, I lead a sedentary life.
My self image is of being quite active, someone who enjoys a certain amount of physical challenge and the satisfaction that comes from justified tiredness. In short: someone who runs. But in terms of time this is small beer - most of the time I sit.
I don't know what to do with this insight. I don't know whether I ought to spend more time on easy runs, cycle rides or just being outdoors or whether I ought to be more generally active. At the very least I ought to be aware of my posture, because what you do for most of the day is bound to have a great impact on you body form. I will have to look afresh at the physical component of my whole day, rather than focusing on the bits I enter into my running diary. In other words think about health in general.
Whilst I was sitting around thinking these things I came across this article on Jerry Morris. It is based on an interview given a shortly before his death and is quite inspiring. He is an obviously great figure (though perhaps little known outside his speciality) who is important to all of us mid-pack runners and general exercisers because he was the first person to show the link between vigorous exercise and a reduction of heart disease. The piece is titled 'The man who invented exercise' and so we obviously owe him debt.